Welcome to Modern Healthcare's third biennial presentation of the Top 25 Women in Healthcare. The previous rosters were published in 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011 and as in past years the list is presented in alphabetical order. The honorees—female executives who are making a difference through their leadership roles in the various sectors of the healthcare industry—were chosen by a panel of senior editors at Modern Healthcare. The final set of five is presented below.
The Top 25 Women in Healthcare, 2009 (5 of 5)
Pescovitz is incoming CEO of the University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, and executive vice president of medical affairs at the university, starting in May. Since 2004, Pescovitz, 52, a pediatric endocrinologist, has been president and CEO for Clarian Health's Riley Hospital for Children, Indianapolis, and associate dean for research affairs and interim vice president for research administration at the Indiana University School of Medicine.
Sebelius is the two-term governor of Kansas and secretary-designate of HHS. She served as Kansas' insurance commissioner from 1995 to 2003. Sebelius, 60, is President Barack Obama's pick to lead the agency tasked with protecting the nation's health and providing essential human services. At a Senate confirmation hearing for the post, Sebelius pledged to make healthcare reform her priority and said “inaction is not an option.”
Sheridan is co-founder and president of Consumers Advancing Patient Safety, a Chicago-based not-for-profit group working to improve patient safety in healthcare. Sheridan, 49, started the organization in 2003, a year after her husband, Pat, died as a result of a missed diagnosis of spinal cancer. Their son, Cal, suffered severe brain damage called kernicterus five days after his birth in 1995 when his neonatal jaundice went untreated. Sheridan is a member of the Steering Committee of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Patient Safety Research Coordinating Center.
Wakefield is the new administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration for the Obama administration. An expert on rural health issues, Wakefield, 54, was most recently director of the Center for Rural Health at the University of North Dakota. Trained as a nurse, Wakefield has a master's degree and a Ph.D. in nursing from the University of Texas. She was previously director of the Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics at George Mason University, Fairfax, Va.
Young is president of Sunrise Health, a three-hospital system in Las Vegas owned by HCA, providing care to more than 236,000 people last year. Before being named to the post at Sunrise in 2007, Young, 47, was president and CEO of the Medical Center of Aurora (Colo.) and Centennial (Colo.) Medical Plaza for nine years.
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